Obama loses more than 2 million Twitter followers amid crackdown

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Getty Images

"Though the most significant changes are happening in the next few days, follower counts may continue to change more regularly as part of our ongoing work to proactively identify and challenge problematic accounts", Gadde wrote.

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey lost more followers than most people have on Thursday afternoon after his company started to purge inactive accounts.

By contrast, former President Barack Obama's count fell by 2.1 million followers, or 2.1 percent, to 101.5 million.

The new policy could be substantial for some Twitter users because follower totals serve as a top selling point when celebrities and so-called social media influencers negotiate deals with advertisers.

Singer Katy Perry saw more than 3 million of the 110 million followers on her Twitter account suddenly vanish, while Justin Bieber's social media account shrunk by 1.4 million.

Twitter locks accounts when it detects "sudden changes in account behavior", like tweeting a large volume of unsolicited replies or mentions - in other words, signs that it's engaging in spam or bot-like activity.

The move was not expected to affect Twitter's average active user counts, which are key metrics Wall Street uses to track growth.

Congress president Rahul Gandhi lost a large number of followers on Twitter, say reports.

Popular radio presenter Shaffie Weru also spoke about the purge making light of the situation noting: "Twitter is doing away with all fake followers.nobody can stop reggae my frens (friends), we are all dying".

- Stephen Miller (@redsteeze) July 12, 2018I've lost about 2000 followers in the "Great Twitter Purge" today.

Tech executive Elon Musk saw the smallest dip, 0.3 percent, or about 71,000 followers.

Twitter said Wednesday that ordinary people probably won't see much of a difference in their number of followers, which could drop only by four or even fewer. Officials said this will help make Twitter a "more trusted service for public conversation".

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